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Death Of Fairfield Man Found On Island Off Westport Ruled Suicide

William Sapone, 61, of Fairfield was found on Cockenoe Island in Westport early Wednesday morning.
William Sapone, 61, of Fairfield was found on Cockenoe Island in Westport early Wednesday morning. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. -- The death of a missing Fairfield man whose body was found early Wednesday on an island off the coast of Westport has been ruled a suicide, according to police.

William Sapone, 61, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Wednesday.

Sapone's body had been found in a marshy area of Cockenoe Island in Westport early Wednesday after a search of the nearby waters of Long Island Sound by Westport, Fairfield and Norwalk police, as well as the Coast Guard.

Sapone was reported missing Tuesday night after he was overdue in returning from a rowing trip on the Sound. Fairfield police alerted Westport police, who located his car at Burying Hill Beach.

Boats and a helicopter searched the nearby waters before the Fairfield Marine Unit discovered his rowing scull on the shores of Cockenoe Island. A foot search by Westport and Fairfield officers located his body nearby.

Police said a daylight search of the area near the body turned up a handgun in close proximity to where Sapone's body was found.

According to the Connecticut Post , Sapone was a patent and intellectual property lawyer who was rescued in April 2014 when his kayak overturned in Southport Harbor. After being spotted by a woman on the shore, an employee of the nearby Pequot Yacht Club pulled him from the water. He was later treated at Bridgeport Hospital for hypothermia.

Sapone was a member of several local building committees, including the Fairfield Woods Middle School Building Committee and the Penfield Reef Lighthouse Committee , and he ran for a seat on the Representative Town Meeting on the Democratic ticket.

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